News From National: July 31, 2015 | Mental Health America

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News From National: July 31, 2015

In this update:

  • MHA Joins With ITN Productions, Others on #B4Stage4 Program
  • What's Up with Congress?
  • What We Are Reading
  • Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?
  • Did You Know?
  • Affiliate News and Updates

MHA Joins With ITN Productions, Others on #B4Stage4 Program

MHA and UK-based ITN Productions have launched a news and current affairs-style program to examine the current state of mental health in America, how to improve mental health services, and how to gain a better understanding of conditions to identify them far sooner.  #B4Stage4 is an in-depth, online program specifically aimed at those working to improve mental health across the nation. Joining MHA and ITN as collaborators in the program, Centerstone, Magellan Health, InSight, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals highlight the unique and innovative ways their companies are making a difference in the lives of those dealing with mental illness. The program also features a summary of the MHA 2015 Annual Conference: Intervention and Innovation Before Stage 4, along with an interview with Miss Mississippi Teen USA Andrea Hightower, who speaks to her personal commitment to promoting mental health through the pageant’s platform and beyond.

Learn more about the collaboration and see all the chapters in the program.

What’s Up with Congress?

MHA has learned that Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) are very close to introducing their bi-partisan mental health reform legislation in the United States Senate. MHA has been able to review an initial draft, and it’s generally positive, with key provisions included specific to screening and early intervention. While the legislation is still being tweaked, our analysis is that it is very similar to the Murphy-Johnson legislation (HR 2646) in the House.  This could enhance greatly the chances of bipartisan mental health reform legislation moving through Congress as early as this year. MHA has been credited by the sponsors to influencing HR 2646, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015, to include a greater emphasis on screening, early intervention, and integration. MHA still sees areas for needed improvement and continues to work throughout the legislative process to strengthen the legislation. We are encouraged that is appears a Senate version is soon to be a reality.

What We're Reading

Associated Press: Mental Health Experts Respond Carefully to Mass Killings (Paul Gionfriddo quoted)
Chiming In: What Makes Someone Worthy of Help?
The Economist: Letter to the Editor re: Jailhouse Nation (authored by MHA board member David Theobald)
New York Times: Campus Suicide and the Pressure of Perfection
Chicago Tribune: Semicolon tattoos raise awareness of suicide, mental illness
Huffington Post: A Tremendous Problem Facing The Trans Community

Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?

Earlier this month, Paul traveled to Denver to attend a meeting with representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and he presented at a “clinica” on health and mental health at the Biennial of the Americas Conference. Locally, he met in DC this week with a group of policy fellows from the Austin, Texas-based Hogg Foundation.  In the weeks ahead, Paul is slated to visit Indiana and Ohio, with a book signing for MHA Greater Indianapolis on August 26, and a keynote for the Health Policy Institute of Ohio as well as a visit with MHA Franklin County on August 31.

Did You Know?

That MHA is a founding partner of Destination Dignity, a March for Dignity and Change in Mental Health, taking place in Washington, DC on August 24? Destination Dignity is a collaborative project for change and public engagement around mental health in America. The Destination Dignity March as its focus will bring people from around the world and nation together, with people affected by mental health conditions in the lead, to create energy and solidarity for a more supportive nation. Join us!

That almost 2000 people a day are visiting our website and taking our mental health screenings? Taking a screening test is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. It’s the first step in addressing mental health concerns before Stage 4. MHA Screening currently hosts eight screens: Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, PTSD, Alcohol and Substance use, a Youth and Parent screen, and a Work Health Survey.  Visit to learn more.  

Affiliate News and Updates

Affiliates in Action Newsletter – Submissions Deadline Extended to August 10th

MHA continues to compile information for the Affiliates in Action Library that can be used by affiliates, which shows the impact and measured growth a particular program or service has made or is making in various communities. The submission deadline for the fall edition has been extended to Monday, August 10th. We encourage affiliates to showcase their programs and their success stories by submitting information to Valerie Sterns at  If you would like your affiliate’s program featured in next quarter’s edition, please see the attached overview and submission guidelines.

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